Research-inspired learning revitalises the curriculum for first-year science majors

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 2011, 19 (1), pp. 1 - 15
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We describe a curriculum innovation designed and implemented by a multidisciplinary team that engages first-year students in large enrolment subjects in science research and improves their writing. We have devised an activity for science majors that connects them to research through audio and video interviews made with senior science researchers, early career researchers (ECRs), post doctoral fellows and PhD students. We report evaluations from students and academics on the introduction of this research-inspired communication activity and the steps taken to embed and enhance the activity. Findings over three semesters showed: students consistently judged the activity to be a positive learning experience, and; academics whose research is highlighted valued the opportunity to explain their work to those beginning their tertiary studies. Issues of sustainability of the innovation and academics' lack of comfort with assessing the activity have yet to be fully resolved.
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